Fiji’s Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama today announced an allocation of FJD$1.5 million to the Pacific’s only South-South and highest participatory regional organization, the Pacific Islands Development Forum (PIDF).
The Prime Minister, who holds the Finance portfolio, announced this allocation at the 2014 Fiji National Budget address, held this morning in Suva.
In his address, the Prime Minister pointed out the significance of this regional body in promoting the aspirations and challenges of Pacific Island nations.
“In August, Fiji hosted the inaugural Pacific Islands Development Forum. This new regional body will work to develop realistic solutions to the challenges of sustainable development in the Pacific.”
“But unlike other regional groups, the PIDF gives representatives from civil society a seat at the table. We believe that by including the full diversity of perspective, expertise, and opinion, we will have the best chance of arriving at practical solutions”, Prime Minister Bainimarama said.
Fiji’s Foreign Ministry recently announced the diplomatic status gazetted by the Fijian government. The Foreign Ministry said that this move formalizes the international status of the PIDF as an international organization under Fijian laws and ensures the organization receives the same diplomatic privileges as other similar organizations operating in Fiji such as the United Nations, and the Pacific Island Forum etc.
The Prime Minister highlighted that the PIDF Secretariat, which is currently underway, needs to be practical in its approach.
“My fellow leaders and I agree that we do not want a lavish and expansive secretariat headquarters for the PIDF, the kind too often symbolic of the sprawling and wasteful bureaucracy housed within.”
“The PIDF Secretariat will be restrained and dignified. A serious place for serious work.”
“The PIDF Secretariat will be funded initially by Fiji and staffed by representatives of government, civil society groups and business from the PIDF region. $1.5 million has been allocated for this purpose.”
The role of the PIDF in the region has been promoted on the international stage. Since its inaugural meet, senior foreign officials have presented the vision behind the PIDF to the global community.